Home > Ireland: national report for 2017 - harms and harm reduction.

Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2018) Ireland: national report for 2017 - harms and harm reduction. Dublin: Health Research Board.

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Ireland maintains a special register that is a complete census of all drug-induced deaths in the country. Established in 2005, the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI), which is maintained by the Health Research Board (HRB), is an epidemiological database that records cases of death by drugs poisoning, as well as deaths among drug users in Ireland, extending back to 1998.

Data on drug-related acute emergencies in the Irish context refer to all admissions to acute general hospitals with non-fatal overdoses and are extracted from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) scheme.

Newly diagnosed cases of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). Notification data for 2016 are included in this workbook.

The number of drug-induced deaths remained stable in 2015, at 224, compared to 223 deaths in 2014. The majority of those who died were male, aged in their thirties. Opiates were the most common drug associated with most drug-induced deaths as per the EMCDDA Filter D inclusion criteria.

The number of overdose cases admitted to Irish hospitals decreased from 4,256 in 2014. Trends over time show a general decrease in overdose cases, falling from 5,012 cases in 2005 to 3,956 cases in 2015.

Recent trends indicate that the number of cases of HBV and HCV diagnosed and reported in the Republic of Ireland is stabilising rather than continuing to decline. There has also been an overall increase in the number of reported HIV cases; the increased number of people who inject drugs (PWID) among HIV cases reported since 2014 was due to an outbreak of HIV among homeless drug users in Dublin.

Harm reduction services available in Ireland include needle exchanges from fixed sites, mobile units and outreach work provided by regional authorities and community-based organisations. In addition, there are pharmacies providing needle exchanges in each local and regional drug and alcohol task force (RDTF) area within Ireland apart from those covering counties Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. At the end of 2016, there were 111 pharmacies providing needle exchanges, and an average of 1,614 individuals used pharmacy needle exchanges each month in 2016.

Date:2018
Pages:44 p.
Publisher:Health Research Board
Corporate Creators:Health Research Board. Irish National Focal Point to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication:Dublin
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
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Subjects:G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Drugs and alcohol poisoning (overdose)
G Health and disease > Pathologic process > Inflammation or infection
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > HIV
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Hepatitis C
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education > Communicable disease control > HIV prevention
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use > Harm reduction policy
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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